Sunday, March 31, 2013

Houston....we have a problem!

OMG a big, big freaking problem!! Worse still, I'm out of time to find a solution.

So on Saturday I was laying out a few floorboards, seeing how they look, checking out the colours etc and feeling very happy and looking forward to when they were all laid and we could move in. I put them up against one of the walls to see the contrast of the timber with the white of the walls.

The flooboards didn't fit under.





The skirtings are supposed to be 17mm from the ground. These are 10mm. The height you would put them if you were putting carpet in.

The floorboard installers are coming TOMORROW so I've been trying to desperately call my builder all weekend, but of course he's gone away for Easter.

What am I going to do???

(And what the hell is that giant piece of fluff on the floor?)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Dining Delight!

Woohoo! That dining table that I had FINALLY decided on, despite being in teak (which is a lot lighter than the rest of my furniture) now comes in walnut! The photo looks a lot darker than walnut, especially the other walnut furniture I will be getting (if I ever have the money!)

The lovely suppliers sent me a samples of all the timbers because I was worried about the walnut colour. The bottom one is oak, then teak and then the walnut. How perfect does it look? I love it.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Handover Photos

Here's some more pics from handover. If only the floor was done :-)

Dining Room

Master Bedroom


Kitchen and Walk In Pantry

Main Bathroom 
Living Space
Bedroom 1

Bedroom 2

Bedroom 3

Downstairs Guest Bathroom


Upstairs Powder Room

Stairwell Lights

Walk In Wardrobe

Flooring has arrived!!

The flooring has arrived! All 170m2 or 93 boxes. I have been VERY worried about this as I bought it from an auction house in Sydney...sight unseen.

It's Boral Silkwood in Sydney Blue Gum and I think the supplier said it was excess stock so I got it for a VERY good price, and insane $43/m2. I've been negotiating back and forth with this supplier for a good 5 months, bombarding them with questions and getting them to send me photos and references.

When it turned up I was surprised to see it branded as Harvey Norman. I got a quote from Harvey Norman for the same product and it was almost $100/m2 more expensive than what I bought this for. So you can imagine...I'm pretty happy.

I opened a few of the packets and laid them out on the floor. The timber is a beautiful pinky red grain and I've spoken to soooo many people who all say that the blue gum will darken and become more richer with time. The colour as it is fabulous, but if it darkens that would also be wonderful!

The floorboards are a "natural' grade as opposed to the premium "Australiana' grade, which means it will have natural timber imperfections like this small black mark. I'm completely fine with this, I think it adds to the character of the timber (and maintains the budget ;-p) and the installer said he puts any of the nastier bits into wardrobes and cupboards and saves the nicer pieces for the larger, more seen parts of the house.

I used the courier recommended by the auction house I bought the floorboards from. They were supposed to be loaded onto 2 pallets so they could be loaded onto his truck. When he got there they hadn't been put on palettes and the poor guy had to load 93 boxes, by hand, onto his truck. Each of these boxes are 2400mm long and weigh 16kgs. You can imagine, he wasn't very happy.

When it arrived on our end it rained, actually it poured, but only, I'm sure, on my house. Literally it was sunny at work and sunny in the suburb next to my house. Which made the site a soggy mess. My poor courier, he was super cranky. On top of that he had seriously underquoted - $350 for 2 tonnes of goods from Sydney, delivered into the house. He had to get extra labour help him unload. Even I knew I was getting a good deal, so I threw an extra $100 which is still way under what I had budgeted.

The original quote I had for supply and installation of this product was $25,500 and doing it this way, despite the stress and hours and hours of additional research, phone call, emails etc, saved me over $14,500 so I'm pretty happy with that :-).

Next step is installation and that starts on Monday!

Splashback is installed...finally

The kitchen splashback has been installed and just in the nick of time! The silicon was still drying as the keys were handed over as this was the second attempt for the suppliers to install the splashback.

The first attempt was a week before, when they found it had been cut 100mm too short. I have NO idea how that could have happened considering they come out to measure it.

Not to worry, we got there in the end and all the indecision, stress and second guessing has melted away and I'm really pleased with the end result.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Handover Process

This house is the first one I've built and so the first "practical completion inspection' I've done before handover. I didn't have a clue what I should be looking for so lucky I brought Jansen along :-).  Builders are so handy in this situation.

He was stuck in traffic so I started without him. I think it took me about 5 minutes and everything looked fine to me. I would have passed it.

Jansen, on the other hand, armed with a box of red dots, plastered them everywhere across the house. He picked up the teeniest paint nick on the ceiling to a window being too tight to shut. Happily, he didn't pick up any structural defects or anything major. In fact pretty much all the things he picked up related to paint and most of them, to be honest, I wouldn't have even noticed. Everything else is perfect.

The most major defect is a crack in the main upstairs bathroom tile, just next to waste hole. That's going to be a pain to rectify.

Overall, this house passed with flying colours. I work in the building industry and I've heard some horror stories. This was always at the back of my mind during the building process. I needn't have worried though, I always had a good gut feeling about my builders which luckily turned out to be right.

Flooring arrives tomorrow. Easter will be spent packing ;-P.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Guess What?

Two years, two months and thirteen days after the floods took our little home, we were handed the keys to our brand new (and very high) home. It's been a long and sometimes hard slog, but we are very grateful to be on our way back into a place we can call home.

Personally, the last 803 days have taught me an awful lot. Gratitude, appreciation, patience, name a few. While it's something I feel I've been strong enough to get through, I don't think it's been fair on Josh. In his final year of primary school and the first year of high school, we've moved three times to three different suburbs while he still had to deal with his Dad's place also going under in the flood. But he's been an absolute trooper and it's fantastic to see him excited about having his own room again.

There's been so many people that have helped along the way. From those who came to clean up after the flood, to those who've helped out with professional advice and those who've just just lent an ear, I'm so grateful for it all and planning the gratitude party already.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Final Touches

Towel rails in the main bathroom

The final touches are being made to the house ahead of handover next week :-). The towel 'ladder' has been installed and doesn't look too bad. A reasonable and more economical version of an expensive towel ladder.

Towel rails over the bathtub

We weren't sure whether to centre it over the bath or centre it between the mirror and the wall. In the end we centred it on the wall and while I'm still not 100% I don't think anyone will notice once there are towels hanging on it.

Downstairs bathroom
The downstair powder room shower screens are up. I ended up going with the semi-frameless instead of the full frameless as it was just too expensive. I think it looks fine. The builder advised against putting the glass shelf up as he said it could pierce the waterproof membrane and cause leakage and all sorts of water problems. Given it was a $60 glass shelf I took his advise and didn't take the risk.

Upstairs Bathroom
The upstairs main bathroom shower screen has been installed too. Originally it was designed without a door, just an opening, however the certifier wouldn't certify it as it was too close to a non-tiled wall.

As per usual it's not without dramas. The ensuite shower screen was originally 2 panels of 1790mm with a 750mm wide door. The installer rang me during installation rang me and said he advised against having such a wide screen as it had too much flex. I so appreciate a good, honest tradie, so we've sent that back to have 2 panels of 500mm on either side with a 750mm door in the middle.

The starphire white splashback also arrive 100mm too short. WTF? What is it with stuff being too short in this house? Anyway, that's been sent back too.

Not long now!!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Dining Decisions

Trying to find a dining suite has been driving me CRAZY! Literally crazy. I've been waking up in the middle of the night thinking about tables and chairs. I really need to get a life.

This is originally what I wanted to get. It would match the coffee table and was something a bit different. I went to Matt Blatt on the weekend though to test whether the chairs would fit properly and completely under the table and sadly, no, they didn't. This would drive me (more) crazy in a very short period of time, especially given I'd have to look at it every day. The table top too was too small - 170cm x 73cm, very narrow. The chairs are replica Hans Wegner Elbow chairs in walnut and at a whopping $495 each meant the whole set would be $4095. Holy crap!

I still loved the look and tried different chairs, different tables, everything. Nothing was working. Anyway, after hours searching online and driving the other half batty, I've decided to go a different look altogether.

I've always loved this table from Sounds Like Home, it's from the same collection as the bed that I've had on my wishlist forever. It's lighter than the timbers in the lounge room, but I think because it's a more eclectic look it will be OK. It's the shape and size I wanted and will easily fit 6 chairs snugly underneath.

Replica Eames DSR Side Chair

Replica Eames DSW Side Chair

Replica Jasper Morrison Hal Wood Chair
Replica Jasper Morrison Hal Wood Chair

I'd put one of these chairs with them. I know that it's a bit "trendy" at the moment, but my main motivation would be price - the DSW chairs can be picked up for as low as $59 each and I can upgrade later when I have the funds.

I think this is a reasonable solution. Maybe now I can stop having dreams about dining tables!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The furniture hunt

Am so obsessed with furniture at the moment, it's a major competitor for my clothes and food obsession. The theme of the house is mid century vintage, Mad Men-esque, a warm contrast to the freshness of the white interior and the contemporary style of the home's layout and exterior.

I saw a gorgeous little store on Ipswich with retro furniture in the window, just what I was after. It's not one I had seen before but it turns out they had been in Woolloongabba for years, but they were turning the building into apartments so they had to move here.

It was such a difficult spot to get into, if you miss the turn off you have to go all the way around. Which is what I did...twice. But it was worth it. What a gem!

It's called Add Vintage and sells original vintage pieces sourced from Australia and Denmark. How cool! I've mostly been looking at replica furniture, not originals.  The owner, Mila, was so lovely and was so passionate about all the pieces. It was so nice to talk to her.

There was also a replica section as well. Such beautiful pieces.

Am so obsessed. OBSESSED!!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Bar Stools!

I bought 4 of these stools from work for $10 each. Bargain. Well, sort of. They're Ikea and I think they were only $20, but they don't sell these at Ikea anymore and work was trying to get rid of some excess furniture.

They're for the breakfast bar. They're a little marked as they were used in the interior design studio but I think they just need a good clean up.

I would like to get these in the future, they're also from Ikea and only $99 each but for the moment I have other things to spend the money on.

The countdown is on!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Living Room Mood Board

Here's my mood board for the living room. It's very neutral and understated. I would still love a pop of colour...just not sure what.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The garden has started

This gorgeous little tomato plant has popped up in the front yard, in between the front pillars in almost inhospitable, clay filled mud.

It's a sign I tell you! My garden just can't wait!

Flooring Decisions

OK. I've FINALLY made a decision on the flooring. I've gone back to my original choice of Boral Silkwood for few reasons. Firstly it's great quality and easy to lay, it has a 7mm veneer that can be sanded back, it comes in a colour that matches the staircase and most importantly, I've got it down to a price that's within my budget!


I was seriously looking at bamboo, but there were a few things that didn't work for me. Firstly, the shininess of it made it look a bit like laminex to me, especially with the bevelled lines. Apparently also you can't get them all! That's not very practical for a clumsy person like me with a teenage son and his friends.

So decision made....finally.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Breakfast bar pendants without the rubbish

All the rubbish has been removed from the kitchen and the electricity has been connected to the lights. I feel a little bit better about the pendants now.

The white starphire splashback is still to go in which will make it all even whiter, but Kirty reminded me that the floorboards are still to go in and that will warm up the space a lot.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Pillar colour rectified ACCORDingly

The incorrect colour on the pillars has been rectified from the icky wrong snot green to a grey in the same palette as the door.

Originally I had asked for Dulux "Grey Pail" and it was accidentally painted Dulux "Pale Green Tea" (WTF??) and I've now changed it to Dulux "Accord", which is a slightly darker grey. It's done and looks sooo much better!!

What we ordered
What we got
What we changed to

The wrong colour "Pale Green Tea"

The right (new) colour "Accord"



So all the interior and exterior paint is done and I'm very happy with it all. Here's how the palette ended up.

For the interior and exterior
On the pillars
On the front door

According to the builder we are about 10 days away from handover - yay! I still need to organise flooring though (I know...I STILL haven't sorted that) but at least we are nearly there!